Rules for Puss In Corner

Family: Calculation
Categories: Thinker's, Rewarding, Small
Also Known As:  

Puss In Corner is one of those games that consists of playing cards from a stock into a limited set of reserve piles, until they can be played from the reserves to the foundations. It is similar to Old Patience, but wins are common with good play. The strategy lies in storing cards in the right order on the right reserves, so that later on you can peel them off again without finding yourself blocked.


Place the four Aces face-up in the center, in a 2x2 square. These are the foundations. Shuffle the rest of the deck and place it face down to form the stock; turn the topmost card of the stock face-up. Four reserve piles, arranged at the corners of a wider square surrounding the foundations, start the game empty.


Turn four cards face-up from the stock, one at a time, and put them onto reserve piles. Each card can go on any reserve pile, regardless of rank or suit.

Next move any cards that you can from the reserves to the foundations. The foundations build up from Ace to King by following color (red on red, black on black). Then repeat: deal four more cards to the reserves, then play from reserves to foundations, and continue until the game is finished.


When the stock is empty, stack the reserve piles without shuffling and turn them over to refill the stock. You may only do this once.


The goal is to move all the cards onto the foundations.


The first time through the stock, dedicate one pile for cards of rank King to 10, one for 9 to 7, one for 6 to 4, and one for 3 to Ace. Place cards in these piles by rank, and don’t worry too hard about covering lower-ranked cards with higher ones.

Don’t follow the above rule too strictly: for each deal of four cards, you want to play as many as possible to the foundations right away. Don’t hesitate to play a card to the “wrong” reserve pile if that helps guarantee that it can immediately be played to a foundation.

Another exception to the dedicated-rank tip: except for the Kings-to-tens pile, the first card you place into an empty reserve can rank higher than the “dedicated” ranks for that pile.

If all goes well, after the first run through the stock you’ll have played about half the cards to the foundations. Now after you redeal, you will have fewer ranks to worry about and more opportunities to play to the foundations. With a little luck, after a little more play you may find you have only (or almost only) tens through Kings left to go, and you can dedicate one pile to each rank.

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